Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Clinton strengthens equal allowance protections

Executive orders address gender inequity in children’s allowances

Dispatch from the Future
April 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (Gloomberg News) - President Hillary Clinton signed executive orders Tuesday aimed at strengthening equal allowance protections for children.

The orders will make it easier for some kids to find out how much other children are getting paid and, as a result, to learn whether or not they are being compensated fairly.

“Today I'm going to take executive action to make it easier for girls in the home to receive a fair allowance," said Clinton just before signing the actions.  “Allowance secrecy fosters allowance discrimination, and we shouldn’t tolerate it.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Journalist Tells All

Selorm Edor--known as "Sel" to his friends--just conducted a video interview with me about my two novels, Messages and A Journal of the Crazy Year. Sel was a fabulous and very gracious host. You can find the interview at this link.

Sel contacted me after noticing that Messages was moving up in the sales rankings, with the thought that his site's readers might enjoy knowing more about the book and its author.  During its promotion last week, Messages cracked the top 100 on Amazon in its three categories.

The link above goes to the page where you can find the video interview.  Be sure to check out the site's home page, too, and sign up for its newsletter.  Acrebooks is working on some innovative services and ideas for connecting authors and readers.

Thanks, Sel, for your interest and for being such a great host!

Read more >> Click this link to see the full interview

Obamacare and Me: Adventures in The Toilet Zone

Episode Three:  I Sing the Body Frustrated

Opening narration:  Submitted for your approval:  Portrait of a man stuck between two worlds, trapped in a place that's neither here nor there, light nor dark, hot nor cold.   Imagine, if you will, a hard, round, wet domain, swirling with confusion.  A land nestled somewhere between existence and non-existence; between shadow and substance; and between promise and fulfillment.   A place where you play the cards you’re dealt, and every hand is a royal flush.  It’s place we call:  The Toilet Zone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Thanks to our often absurd legal system, you may never know. 

To:      KRUD-TV "In Your Face Investigations” Team
From:  Charles Cheatham
Re:      Script Legal Review
Date:  4/19/2014

As requested, we have reviewed the script you sent us for Part One of your upcoming investigative report entitled, “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?” and have screened it for libel, false light, privacy, and other legal concerns.  Our findings and recommendations follow.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Defying Soviets, Eisenhower recognizes Cuban independence

History in this parallel universe unfolded a bit differently

December 6, 1960
WASHINGTON (Gloomberg News) – Ignoring sanctions imposed by the U.S.S.R., President Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized Cuba as an "independent, sovereign, and democratic nation" on Monday, presenting a bold challenge to Moscow that further escalated East-West tensions.

The brief White House press release came just hours after the Kremlin announced asset freezes and other sanctions against U.S. officials involved in the Cuban crisis.  Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev warned that more would follow if the United States didn't stop interfering in Cuba.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Problem with the Virgins: Interview with a Martyr

Paradise was Hassan's reward. Or so it first seemed.

It’s been one year since Taliban operative Hassan al-Libi blew himself up in a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan, killing more than 30 men, women, and children.  Recently al-Libi sat down with Gloomberg News reporter Rip N. Reed for an exclusive interview.

Gloomberg News:   Mr. al-Libi, thanks for agreeing to sit down with us today.  May I call you Hassan?

Hassan al-Libi:   Certainly.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is accuracy in TV news obsolete?

Is it true that the "You Tube generation" no longer cares about accuracy in news reporting?   Many newsrooms certainly seem to act as if they believe it.  If it is true, what does that mean for television journalists?

Even though I'm out of the TV news business, at least for now, I have tried to keep my hand in discussions about the standards of the profession.  The RTDNA -- Radio Television Digital News Association, which is the primary trade organization for broadcasters, cablecasters, and their related websites -- just published a piece I wrote on the ethics of accuracy.  Check it out here. 

Obamacare and Me: Help me. Please. Somebody.

Episode Two:  Doctorama, or,  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Big Government

In our last episode: The insurance plan I liked and wanted to keep was canceled.   I applied for a new government Exchange policy, and as I was doing so, I learned I had a tumor on my kidney.  After receiving a series of conflicting government messages and chat line advice (“Your enrollment is complete.   Your enrollment is not complete.  Wait for your insurance company to contact you.  Don’t wait for your insurance company to contact you”)  I flipped a coin, chose a course of action, and wound up with a confirmed Exchange plan in the nick of time.  Both sets of doctors confirmed they were authorized providers with my new company.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dispatch from the future: Encounter at McZhang’s

2045.  Life is grand.  If you have insurance.

Traveler:  John Lopez
Time of arrival:  March 21, 2045
Place of arrival:  Minneapolis, MI

At first glance, the future didn’t seem nearly as different as I had imagined it would be.  Sidewalks were swept, clean, and planted with colorfully blooming flowers.  Birds chirped.  Butterflies fluttered by.  The sky was clear and blue.  And no one was flitting around in it wearing any jet packs.  Quite the contrary; the thoroughfare in front of me was very congested, with vehicles starting and stopping fitfully in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  A lot of the drivers cursed one another in a familiar fashion through lowered windows, and exchanged messages using a universally recognized sign language.  Some things never change.  Some things do.  The cars were smaller—many had only three wheels.  Most of them gave off no engine noise—presumably they were electric.  Lots of small motorcycles zipped around.  I was kind of surprised to observe that almost all of the riders steered their bikes between the lanes of traffic.  Cops didn’t seem to notice or care.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Obamacare and Me: Head vs. Wall. Wall Wins.

Episode 1:  From in the pink to on the brink

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I had a health plan.  I liked it.  I wanted to keep it.  I had a great doctor, whom I liked, and I wanted to keep him, too.  I was told I could.

I was hosed. 

My dripping-wet hosedhood did not put my name on a particularly exclusive list.  The same thing happened to millions of other Americans.  We all heard the president and other leaders make the same promise.   But they were politicians, and their lips were moving.  That should have told us something.

Monday, April 14, 2014

No place in Hell for Fred Phelps

9TH CIRCLE, Hell (Gloomberg News) – Hell announced today that it can’t accommodate the soul of Fred Phelps, the late founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, and has refused admission.   The decision immediately led to a major rift in Heaven-Hell relations.

“It’s not that we don’t want Phelps,” explained the late Saddam Hussein, director of communications for Hell’s Office of Infernal Affairs.  “Far from it.  Leading souls astray, spreading hate in the name of the Almighty, defaming God himself—it doesn’t get sweeter than that.   Those moves are right out of The Dark Prince’s playbook, and Phelps was a master of the game.”  But Hussein explained that coming up with a reward commensurate with Phelps’ achievements has proved difficult.  “The essential problem is, we just don’t have a hole deep enough for the guy.”   Hussein said Hell administrators declined to admit Phelps and sent his soul back to Heaven.